- Step One: Character Concept
Choose Concept, College, and Nature.
- Step Two: Select Attributes
Note that all Attributes start with one dot before you add any. Stamina must begin with two dots, the minimum required to even have survived training.
Prioritize the three categories: Physical, Social, Mental (6/4/3)
- Step Three: Select Abilities
Note College Abilities
Select Favored Abilities (2; may note be the same as College Abilities). Choose Abilities (30 – at least 10 must be from College or Favored Abilities; at least one must be in each Favored Ability; none may be higher than 3 without spending bonus points) Amiliki are required to possess a minimum of Bureaucracy 1, Endurance 1, Martial Arts 1, Melee 1, Lore 2, Occult 2, Performance 1, and Resistance 1.
- Step Four: Select Advantages
Choose Backgrounds (10 – none may be higher than 3 without spending bonus points. All Amilki begin with Backing 1 in their organization) and Virtues (5 – none may be higher than 3 without spending bonus points).
- Step Five: Finishing Touches
Note that all Amiliki functionally begin play with the Essence Mastery merit and do not need to pay for it nor Essence Awareness.
Record Essence (2), Willpower (add total of two highest Virtues – may not start higher than 8 unless at least two Virtues are 4 or higher), Essence pool (Essence x 10), and health levels (7, plus any gained from merits).
- Bonus Points
Bonus points (21) may be spent at any time during character creation.
College of Battles
Every cause needs warriors; those willing to not simply risk themselves covertly, but to stand the line at the very forefront of any confrontation and place themselves deliberately into the path of danger. It is a choice precious few make, for unlike other paths, it places them and all they hold dear into the line of fire. Yet, it is a choice that a graduate of the College of Battles makes every single day. To risk it all for the cause, to be remembered as martyrs as often as heroes, to stand in the face of certain death and say "I will hold my ground"; this is what it means to be one of the Clay Soldiers.
The College of Battles is the warrior school of the Amiliki. It is also known as the Millhouse, for both the excessively arduous nature of it's training programs and the extremely high number of losses suffered when compared to other Colleges. Surveys taken have shown that the College of Battles looses more members in the field than not simply any other College, but nearly more than every other College. It is unsurprising though, given the nature of their role within the organization. The College of Battles exists to fight the good fight. They are organized to spear-head assaults on the enemies of Creation or serve as bodyguards and hunting hounds to Sidereal on the move. Their duty, sworn in blood upon their graduation from the program, is to fight and, if need be, to die without hesitation.
Yet, the Clay Soldiers are not merely warm bodies to fill the ranks of private armies and be thrown to slaughter. Intelligence, cunning, and charisma are as prized an attribute among the College of Battles as any College. They are sworn to sacrifice themselves if need be, yet only if need be. Frivolous attempts to claim fame and glory are frowned upon, though many find both just the same and a good share of infamy along with it. The College of Battles is often considered one of the more public faces of the Amiliki, though it is an unavoidable situation more than an intentional one. Often at the forefront of wars and conflicts, posing as mercenaries or patriots alike, the deeds they are called upon to perform are far more public than most. Nearly every action they take is open to scrutiny by those around them and those orders passed down to them for the good of Creation might not always seem so noble to compatriots outside the organization. Clay Soldiers are told not to question their orders, yet those who do can become a stumbling block for the organization the way few others can.
Their role goes beyond simply acting as soldiers and bodyguards. Many find themselves placed in covert missions, organizing and training the ranks of rebels and freedom-fighters in far off lands. Others use military victories as leverage to gain political power and support. Where ever the world may find them, the Clay Soldiers win their place through blood and fire.
More than any other College, members of the College of Battles are more likely to find themselves working more with other members of their own College than mixed among others. Their training focuses heavily upon working as a well organized group, using superior numbers and tactics to overcome foes superior to them in strength and number. It is difficult for them to find this level of training and competence outside of their own College. Yet there is always a demand for their services in other places. In mixed Cadres, the Clay Soldier will serve as weapons master and instructor to other members of the group. Part of their responsibility lay in training their less militant compatriots in arms and tactics, as well as the planning of any overt or military operation. Veteran Clay Soldiers are often given positions of leadership in a group and their training and experience can go far in turning an uncertain venture into a successful one.
Abilities: Graduates of the College of Battles have been trained to endure inhuman levels of hardship and physical strain. They have also been inducted into the higher levels of warfare, as both soldiers in the field and tacticians. The skills of a Clay Soldier vary greatly beyond this, though personal strengths are sought out and exploited by the instructors at the College to their fullest. A good number are trained in the mastery multiple forms of armed or unarmed combat. Other Clay Soldiers are skilled leaders as well as fighters, through sheer personal magnetism or political cunning. All graduates of the College of Battles treat Resistance and Melee as Favored abilities.
"Always outnumbered. Often outarmed. Never outclassed."
College of Secrets
College of Secrets Control is the single most important key to maintaining power. Dictatorships do so overtly. Democracies covertly. No matter what the organization, restricting the flow of information and monitoring the movements of their own people as well as those without are how rulers keep their positions secure. It is a cold and thankless task to be held responsible for. When you knowingly serve a greater master while others do so obliviously, you make the choice to stand apart from those around you. Your one mote of knowledge damns you and without dedication to your task, the risk of hubris or guilt lurks to either side. For the Gray Consuls, this is a tightrope they must walk every day.
The College of Secrets is the administrative wing of the Amiliki, their training grounds known as the Bleak Room. As their College would imply, the Consuls are the most secretive of any Amiliki – both to the world at large and within their own organization. Many emerge from the training programs as cold and distant as something from beyond the edge of Creation. What others of the organization know about their roles makes this not entirely unfitting. The College of Secrets fill the ranks of the bureaucracy within both the Amiliki and as part of their cover in organizations beyond. Their task is to monitor and organize the unbound volumes of paperwork that accumulates within an organization such as the Amiliki.
They do not merely organize files, but also command and control the logistical assets and spy networks of the Amiliki. Every piece of information gleamed from Amiliki in the field passes through the hands of a Consul well before it goes on to the Sidereal. Every single dinar or artifact meant for other agents is checked and registered with them before it ever finds it's way into needful hands, either because of bureaucratic process or because they are the suppliers themselves. The covers held by the College of Secrets intentionally place them in position to skim from businesses and nations, hiding away what is stolen for Amiliki use within the labyrinth of paperwork and numbers. More experienced or skilled graduates outright lead similar business ventures, keeping profitable the merchant houses or trading posts that serve as a fronts for clandestine operations.
Consuls are notorious sticklers for formality, but they are trained to be. The bureaucrat processes of the Amiliki are understood by few beyond them and being in their good favor can sometimes make the difference between getting what you need tomorrow or two months late. They're trained to cut through red tape as easily as they can create it though. While some personal vendettas can be tolerated, the Consuls themselves understand that they are watched more directly than any other agents and clogging up the system over a personal grudge or minor formalities when something important is at stake is a sure path to a swift and silent disappearance.
The College of Secrets knows much about such disappearances, too. There is another, darker role that the Consuls serve, unspoken of even among themselves. They are the watchmen of the Amiliki; the eyes and ears within the organization for the Sidereal. They alone are outright told who they serve and why. It is not an easy burden to bear. Everyone around them becomes suspect. Their complex files often hold profiles on every other Amiliki they work with. Habits, loyalties, moments of weaknesses; information compiled to make tracking down and destroying any Amiliki who goes rogue a far easier task. This secret purpose, they guard more closely than any other piece of information.
Abilities: Gray Consuls are trained to excel in all forms of written communication and given mastery over the ins and outs of bureaucratic processes. Spending less time in the field than others leaves them with more time to focus on other abilities. Many Consuls are extremely well versed in history and current events beyond those supplied to them by other agents. Others are known to be adept in the supernatural arts, mixing ink and magic in surprisingly creative ways. All graduates of the College of Secrets treat Bureaucracy and Linguistics as Favored abilities.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?"
College of Endings
Faith is one of the most powerful weapons in the world. With it, you can twist the minds of men into believing nearly anything. You can lead nations to war or ruin. You can control the fates of a million souls or turn a single man into a monster. Faith is power and mortalkind has a propensity for it. Their ability to surrender themselves to a cause is so great, it can lead them commit unthinkable acts of terror and violence. Yet dangerous as it is, terrible as it can be, sometimes faith of that caliber is just what is needed. To believe in something greater than yourself. To trust that the ends justify any means. To kill and never ask why. These are the rules that the Black Roses live by.
Assassins, saboteurs, thieves, and worse; the College of Endings is second only to the College of Secrets itself for the level of covertness it operates under. Their secrecy is important, because they are by far the darkest and bloodiest of all Colleges. No one outside of the College even knows where it's training ground is, only rumors of a place called the Wilting Temple. There are no records of any College of Endings missions and barely records of the Roses themselves. Many Amiliki choose to cut ties to their old lives and most are encouraged to. For the Black Roses though, returning to the lives they once lead is not an option. Their training program culminates with the methodical destruction of their lives before joining the Amiliki, using deception and even murder to do away with so much as the memory that they existed.
Despite many expectations though, the Black Roses rarely seem like hardened killers. Many who meet them unknowingly find them affable and average, the sort of mundane men and women who make up the faceless mass of humanity. They pose in simple roles, living as butchers or masons or even herding sheep. The College of Endings makes an art out of being mortal. Even when on assignment, they rarely look like cold-eyed murders, yet it does nothing to impede the ruthless and methodical fashion in which they conduct themselves.
Assassination is their primary role within the organization. Black Roses almost never know the reason they are ordered to eliminate a target nor would it be given should they ask. They have only the word of their superiors that the death of the target is what is in the best interests of the world. Anything they are asked to do, they are told is in the best interests of the world. The Sidereal keep their presence masked from the College of Endings more than any other College. Faith of the level their training programs instill can never truly maintain when it's source is given a faith. All Amiliki are subject to propaganda and social experiment to help ensure loyalty. The Black Roses are drowned in it.
It is why their other duties within the organization are often equally distasteful, acts that less dedicated agents may not be able to handle without flinching. Torture and interrogation both fall under their purview. Kidnapping, arson, and other acts of terrorism as well. Though Black Roses normally work alone on missions, on rare occasions they are set up as members or even leaders of groups of anarchists, terrorists, or other destructive groups. In this fashion, they can often guide outside forces into doing Amiliki work for them, keeping the organizations hands clean of many shameful acts.
Abilities: Those who graduate from the College of Endings are expected to have mastered swift and silent arts of killing. Of all Amiliki, they often have the broadest range of mundane skills beyond what they specialize in. Living under comparatively simple covers, many take up craft skills to get by in their roles. Others choose to focus themselves more upon skills to help them in their roles as an Amiliki, learning arts of intimidation or mastering how to case targets. Graduates of the College of Endings treat Martial Arts and Stealth as Favored abilities.
"Secrets are not my concern. Keeping them is."
College of Serenity
Sometimes the only way to bring down an organization is from within. It takes greater courage than many believe, to walk into the heart of the enemy with a head full of secrets and a handful of treachery. Hiding in plain sight becomes the only option. One must learn to think as they do, act as they do, without ever letting yourself believe as they do. The temptation can at times be almost overwhelming and many will go so far under cover, they never emerge again. The Lapis Courtiers live this life day in and day out, waging a war of deception and information.
The College of Serenity is the primary intelligence gathering wing of the Amiliki. The graduates of the College of Serenity are often considered soft by their compatriots from other Colleges. The Maze of Mirrored Roses is certainly a far different training ground than any other, a place of beauty and grandeur in the searing desert sands. But it's opulence is deceptive of what goes on within. The training programs of the Courtiers teach them how to become someone else. They learn how to summon a new identity out of thin air, weaving a life together with the surety of any master storyteller, while all the while their instructors probe for any flaw or weakness.
Their training is spiritually and mentally intense. Many break under the pressure, their decent into madness as grueling as any blood-soaked death on the training fields of the Millhouse. Yet the pressure they endure within the Maze is vital to their survival in the world. The Courtiers are the spies and infiltrators of the Amiliki and their job is possibly one of the most dangerous. Against enemies of all shapes and sizes, their role is not to fight them in combat, but to befriend them. They integrate themselves completely into hostile organizations, posing as trusted and loyal members.
It is not merely the Amilikis enemies the Courtiers infiltrate. They take many bedfellows, secreting themselves into organizations great and small. Even the theoretical allies of the Amiliki are typically seeded with at least one graduate from the College of Serenity. They sit as concubines to kings and as worshipers to mad gods. Any group which may stand to be a threat or an asset to the Amiliki is fair game for the Lapis Courtiers. Friend or foe, their position in these organizations is useless unless they are near the upper echelons of power. The higher you rise, the more visible you become though, and the Courtiers thus often find themselves subject to attention both public and private. Maintaining appearances can thus becomes a matter of life and death.
Few doubt that the trade off is ultimately worth it though. From their unique perspective, the Courtiers are able to track and even influence the actions of the Amilikis foes, sending out vital information on their weaknesses or creating new ones. They can open up new avenues of alliance for the Amiliki. Some can even rise so far as to find themselves helping direct the fates of nations. Their world is still a house of cards though. They live forever knowing that the day they grow clumsy or careless, someone will find them out. Vigilance and patience are two of the greatest virtues among the Courtiers, for without both, all they attempt to achieve can be easily undone.
Abilities: The Lapis Courtiers are instructed in subterfuge and deception. They can be subtle and cunning or overt showman, yet they always know how to hide who they truly are. Many skills aid them in their tasks and each is assigned to roles that suit their abilities as best as can be managed. Knowledge of social grace and manner will typically see one sent to the court of ruler, while knowledge of the occult might find them living as a priest. Graduates of the College of Serenity treat Larceny and Performance as Favored abilities.
"Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem."
College of Journeys
Events which shape the world are not carried out only in the grand arena of politics and power. They happen every day and everywhere, from small towns to lonely forests. Living in myth and rumor, they can pass unnoticed by most of the world. Few have the curiosity or adventuresome spirit to chase these phantasms and many the wisdom to know that some mysteries are better left shrouded. Those who dwell in shadow do not have the same luxury as the rest of the world, for they know they do not walk there alone. Nothing can truly be taken for granted and no rumor to small to chase. Keeping a watch on the smaller places of the world falls to the Argent Pilgrims.
The College of Journeys is the investigational division of the Amiliki. Unlike the other Colleges, the Pilgrims have no true training ground, only a constantly moving gathering of students and teachers called the Wandering Mountain. While other Colleges persue specific goals, the Pilgrims are not directed but instead unleashed into the world. They drift from place to place, posing as wandering merchants, riverboat entertainers, or any cover that could explain a constant need to be on the go. Across towns and cities, they build contacts and chase rumors. It is their job to keep tabs on the little events of the world, for all too often these can prove to be only the opening steps to something greater.
Even though this is not always so, chasing any mystery is a risky affair. What lies at a the end of a Pilgrims search is rare friendly nor safe. Demons escaped from Malfeas, enclaves of fair folk dwelling just out of sight, unstable demesnes on the edge of bursting; a Pilgrim must be prepared to face all this and more. Survival is key in such cases. Their investigations do no one any good if they die before sharing what they have uncovered. Chosen as they were for their innate curiosity and wanderlust, Pilgrims who failed to know when to abandon a hunt never survived past training.
Those who did showed a propensity for caution in the face of danger that serve them well in tasks beyond mere rumor hunting. The secondary, though some would argue primary, role of the Pilgrims is to play the part of messenger. The members of the College of Journeys are almost always on the move and rarely stay with one Cadre for long. It makes them the ideal couriers between distant Cadres and even, though unknowingly, to the Sidreal themselves.
Pilgrims are thus among the few groups of mortals who universally possess the right to pass through a Celestials Gate and enter the heavenly city of Yu-Shan. Unlike those in the College of Secrets however, the Pilgrims have little idea whom they serve. They deliver their messages to anonymous contacts within the city and receive orders and messages from the same. Who in heaven they work for is a mystery that many Pilgrims long to look into, though most are acutely aware that those who do have a tendency to wander onto the open road and never turn up again.
Abilities: The Argent Pilgrims are toughened to long journeys during their training and taught how to properly pursue an investigation. Travelers in a dangerous world, chasing dangerous legends, they are often able warriors. Others prefer stealth or flight to fight and put more work into developing their running legs than their sword arm. Social skills of any sort aid them in developing the far flung contacts they need. Graduates of the College of Journeys treat Survival and Investigation as Favored abilities.
"The world is a strange place. Let's keep it that way."
The allies of an Amiliki are more often than not simply his own Cadre, who should be purchased through the Cadre background listed bellow. Some can reasonably count on spirit or elemental allies, who often share ties to or are at least sympathetic to the Gold Faction. The vast majority of the Dragon-Blooded in Creation are viewed as “the enemy” to the Amiliki, as most Terrestrials declare allegiance to the Realm, but it is not impossible or even unknown for Outcaste Dragon-Blooded to ally themselves to the Amiliki. Almost any such relationships are strained with distrust however, as the Amiliki hold a policy of assuming any and all Terrestrials to be spies of the Realm. The relationship between the Amiliki and the Celestial Exalted will almost always be one of superior and servant. As an organization, the Amiliki were founded solely to support the Gold Faction Sidereal and the Solars they seek to guide and protect, but the Amilikia were never intended to be equals or peers among either. In rare cases, such a relationship may form between a young Solar and the Amiliki assigned to serve him or between a very experienced operative and a Sidereal who is not immediately her superior, but these are the great exceptions, not the rules.
The Artifact background represents those objects of power that an Amiliki operative has somehow stumbled across and gained possession of on his own over the course of his career, rather than those supplied to him by the Amilki or the Gold Faction. The Sidereal prefer to keep objects of great power out of the hands of their mortal agents, as the dangers of such often far outweigh the benefits in the Age of Sorrows. Amiliki are expressly instructed to turn in any artifacts they discover over the course of their work through the proper channels for examination before attempting to employ them, no matter how inconspicuous the item may seem. This serves the two-fold purpose of removing the risk of trapped or defective artifacts slaying highly valuable operatives and of allowing the Gold Faction first pick on the best and most useful magical items for themselves. There are never the less many reasons why an Amiliki might retain possession of powerful artifacts and a Storyteller who allows an Amiliki character to purchase such an artifact at character creation should encourage a good story explaining how the agent came to possess and keep it. The Storyteller should also warn the player of the dangers such objects hold for mortals, not simply in and of themselves but also for the attention they draw. There are many in the world who would claim such powerful tools for themselves (not the least of whom are the Amiliki's own Exalted superiors) and retaining ownership of such artifacts is a far more daunting task for a mortal than an Exalt.
An Amiliki must have the Magical Attunement merit to purchase this background. Artifacts of lesser power and those enchanted with mortal Essence provided by the Amiliki are better purchased through levels of the Talismans background, listed in the New Backgrounds section below.
All Amiliki are considered to have Backing 1 (The Amiliki). Further purchases improve their rank within the organization as standard for the background, with the higher ratings implying a great deal of control over regional operations (the work of spymasters or strategists who can assemble large groups of commandos), as well as increased encounters with the Sidereal. Their duties to the organization are always expected to come first, but the Amiliki are not expressly forbidden from working for or achieving rank within other organizations. Some are even encouraged to do so as part of their cover. Amiliki can thus purchase Backing in any organization that befits their cover.
Amiliki generally should not buy the Cult background unless it is part of their cover. Some Amiliki have been installed as tribal shaman or the charismatic leaders of radical religious groups. These Amiliki may very well become the object of worship for those around them, which could be reflected in the Cult background. Amiliki who operate within the Cult of the Illuminated should never take this background, instead taking either Backing or Connections related to the Cult of the Illuminated as they are often posing as religious warriors or simple worshippers and never as the objects of worship themselves. Establishing cults outside of their assigned covers is strictly against the by-laws of the organization and any caught attempting such practices will often find themselves swiftly targeted for elimination by College of Endings assassins.
As with the Artifact background, the Manse background is used to represent places of power that an Amiliki operative has somehow obtained personal ownership of in the course of his career, rather than those opened to him through his association to the Amiliki. The Gold Faction is not as strict about keeping powerful manses out of the hands of their mortal agents as they are about artifacts. They have manses of their own in Yu-Shan which are often far more powerful and better protected than any on Creation. So long as the Amiliki is not devoting more of his time and energy into keeping the manse than he is in doing his duty, the Sidereal are usually content to allow him to keep it. This only means that one set of covetous eyes are turned away however, not all. Holding a manse of great power is no less dangerous or difficult for a mortal in the Age of Sorrows than keeping a powerful artifact, perhaps even more so in it's own way. While it need not be expressly forbidden, the potential dangers of controlling a powerful manse should not be ignored either. Optimally, it will provide ample plot-hooks to a game.
An Amiliki must have the Manse Attunement merit to purchase this background. Hearthstones of lesser power provided by the Amiliki themselves are more efficiently obtained through the use of the Talismans background listed below in the New Backgrounds section.
All beings desire the company of peers and like-minded companions. To this end do the Solars form Circles, Lunar’s congregate in Packs, and Dragon-Blooded come together in Brotherhoods. For the Amiliki, companionship is not simply a desire, it is a requirement of the service. Trained as very focused specialists, each Amiliki is part of a complex network, each a separate limb which ultimately makes up the whole of a body – and just as functionally useless without the rest. Thus, Amiliki not only come together willingly, but are outright assigned into groups known as Cadres. A Cadre is a complicated group, whose form and membership may change constantly over a mater of months or sit unshifting with the same roster for years. Cadres are formed around specific needs in a region, meaning that it can be anything from a den of spies and assassins, to a training camp of faux-partisan rebels, to a great bloated merchant house shifting trade and taking kick-backs to funnel resources into less legitimate operations elsewhere. Sometimes a Cadre is little more than a band of independent operatives who simply share the same ring of safehouses or who all have attunement to the same manse. While a balanced make-up of each College is seen as best over all, only rarely is this possible or even suitable to the needs of the area, and thus balanced Cadres are rare occurrences. Cadre’s rarely exceed ten members at one time, as this places the organization at risk of loosing many valuable operatives at once should they be uncovered by agents of the Realm. Only in desperate need will Cadre’s larger than ten active members, but those Cadre’s who operate within the same area of Creation for long enough will often form a loose fellowship and trade members back and forth between one another. Thus, is it possible for an Amilki to whose “home” Cadre consists of only three or four members to find themselves working beside nine or ten other operatives at one time.
The Cadre background represents the over-all size of the Amilki’s Cadre and generally reflects some of it’s nature as well. A player should consult with their Story-teller before purchasing this background. Solar characters who have backing from the Cult of the Illuminated or the Gold Faction directly may also purchase this background, but in such an instance it represents the number of Amiliki assigned as aides to that Solar rather than the number of peers a Solar is surrounded by. Gold Faction Sidereal are free to purchase this background as well, representing a number of Amiliki who have been placed under their direct authority either on a temporary or permanent basis.
X – No Cadre. You could be an independent operative or simply fresh out of training and unassigned.
1 - Tiny Cadre. Your Cadre consists of only yourself and one other Amiliki. This situation usually implies two independent operatives who simply share a safehouse, often not even a proper manse, and your impromptu room-mate might not always be counted on for aid, though alternatively requests for your own assistance are generally rare.
2 - Small Cadre. With three other members in addition to yourself, your Cadre is likely a bit more organized towards a single goal in an area. A Cadre of this size is almost certainly using a manse as a bare of operations, but a large enough safehouse could also accommodate their needs. This does not necessarily mean you work closely together, but you are at least all striving for the same end in your own way and can count on the others backing you up a bit more often, as well as seeking your aid from time to time.
3 - Midsized Cadre. Long term operations are often handled by Cadres of six. These are often the most balanced and organized groups, as their goals have need of the skills of each College, but there is usually a relaxed air to them not found in the larger or smaller Cadres. Work is expected to get done and you are expected to help your peers when called upon, but there is rarely the sense of urgency or desperation found elsewhere.
4 - Large Cadre. Eight Amiliki operating out of a single safehouse is almost a surely sign of a highly organized and goal-oriented operation taking place. Be it long or short term, your Cadre was assembled with a very specific purpose in mind and a very clear goal to achieve. You are must to work closely with your fellow Amiliki and support each other towards this goal, often at the expense of most everything else.
5 - Huge Cadre. Only the largest operations or most desperate need will see ten Amiliki assembled into a single group. Your goal is almost certainly a temporary one, but it’s importance is absolute. There is no time for anything but achieving the mission laid out before you and you must work in perfect unity with the rest of the Cadre to ensure that this assignment comes out flawlessly. Remember, the Fate of Creation may be hanging on this.
While most agents possess no small amount of personal resources to call upon, often times this is not nearly enough to complete a task. As much as the Amiliki favor resourcefulness and ingenuity in their operatives, there will always be a need to maintain supply bases to support their actions. The resources of the Amiliki are vast and spread out across the world, managed carefully by logistic-masters and other high ranking members. The majority of these are idle assets, prepared well ahead of time for agents in the field to call upon them and receive them quickly. From money and goods skimmed out of merchant houses to shock troops of mercenaries secretly under their employ to elaborate spy networks; as an organization the Amiliki possesses the mean to suit most any end.
Requisition marks the level of access a character has to these resources. Unlike Backing, this support is not necessarily coupled with increased reasonability or control. It instead represents the level to which the character has been authorized to call upon the array of resources; be it because of trust or necessity. Each dot in Requisition grants the Amiliki Requisition points, which function as additional background dots which may be spent on the following backgrounds: Artifacts, Backing (by non-Amiliki organizations), Command, Connections, Library, Laboratory, Manse, Resources, and Spies.
Requisition points are spent on a one-per-one dot basis and may be used to improve existing backgrounds. Unlike standard background dots, Requisition points do not mark personal resources, but borrowed ones. With the exception of Resources and Connections, it is expected that control of these assets will be returned to the Amiliki in good condition once need of them is over with. Requisition points spent on Resources or Connections are lost, but the character does not have to return the borrowed money later and keeps the Connections.
A character does not have to spend all Requisition points at character creation. They can be saved and called upon later as needed.
X – You have no additional access to Amiliki resources. Have you gone rogue or simply angered the local logistic-master?
1 – You have at least some access to local organizational resources, but not much. You’re likely fresh out of training or have never been assigned to a mission that would require additional support. You gain 3 Requisition points.
2 – You have greater sway to call draw upon local resources. Rare is the time you find yourself lacking for what you need, though at times you might barely scrape by. You gain 6 Requisition points.
3 – You can call upon not simply local resources, but regional ones as well. Assistance can be expected swift and prompt and you rarely find yourself lacking for what you need. You gain 9 Requisition points.
4 – If you do not have something you need, expect to get it without question. You’re either a bane to logistic-masters or the beloved of them, as you command the ability to demand, and expect to get, even the most difficult level of assistance. You gain 12 Requisition points.
5 – You are a top agent or someone’s personal favorite. Nearly anything you ask for, even the outrageous, turns up at your door as quickly as possible and the local logistic-master will bend over backwards to suit your needs. You gain 15 Requisition points.
While the main base of operations in an area is almost certainly a manse, they are far from the only outposts employed by the Amiliki. A chain of safehouses, well stocked and nondescript hideaways, are usually scattered through out the area. Safehouses offer shelter and supplies to operatives on long journeys, those on the lamb, or functioning as a temporary base of operations for smaller Cadres. It is up to the local logistics-master to ensure that safehouses remain well-supplied and well kept, while the local spymasters must ensure that each safehouse remains uncompromised or is abandon should they have reason to suspect the position as been uncovered by agents of the Realm. It is often only these two figures who know the exact number and locations of every safehouse in the area. For the sake of security and ensure numerous safehouses are not compromised in one fell stroke should any operatives turn rogue or be interrogated by agents of the Realm, only a few safehouses will ever be reviled to any one operative. More trusted operatives, particularly those who have undergone training to hold out against interrogation, will have the locations of more safehouses reviled to them but even the most fanatically loyal will ever know each and every Amiliki bolt-hole. Not all safehouses are assembled equally, as well. Just as Cadre’s are often formed for a specific purpose, certain safehouses were designed to suit specific needs as well. While most are simply well stocked with food and simple equipment, others have hidden alchemy labs, caches of wealth, storerooms of weapons, or even a vast array of costumes which can be changed into swiftly for a speedy get-away into a busy street.
The Safehouse background represents the number and general quality of safehouses a character knows of in the area. All Amiliki will know the local base of operations and at least one safehouse they can use while in an area, but any more than this implies either great trust or seniority over the local logistics or spy masters. Characters who are not Amiliki but bare strong enough connections to the organization, such as Solars tied to the Cult of the Illuminated, may purchase a number of dots in this background as equal to their level of Connections to the Amiliki. Gold Faction Sidereal may purchase this background freely. Bronze Faction Sidereal who purchase this background may know about previously uncovered and compromised Amiliki safehouses and are free to brave whatever traps may have been set to loot or use the bolt-hole, but will not know any currently active safehouses.
X – One general purpose safehouse has been reviled to you, in addition to the local base of operations.
1 - At least two general safehouses have been reviled to you. Food and mundane equipment can be found at either of these, but little of real value. No weapons or armor can be found here, beyond simple utility knives of unremarkable quality, but there are sheets and beds and the floors are usually clean.
2 - A single specialty safehouse and two general safehouses have been reviled to you. The specialty safehouse may contain a basic laboratory for working alchemy (add +1 to all Alchemy rolls while working within) or even a small cache of wealth (equal to Resources 2).
3 - Two specialty safehouses and three general safehouses have been reviled to you. At this level, you may have had the location of a hidden weapons depot reviled to you. False-walls or basement doors will open to revile a modest but useful selection of weapons and armor. There are all of decent quality, but otherwise mundane. A character should be able to find anything short of super-heavy armor or articulated plate at such a safehouse.
4 - One important safehouse, three specialty safehouses, and four general safehouses have been reviled to you. The quality of what can be found within an important safehouse climbs dramatically. You have been entrusted with the position of a great store of wealth (equal to Resources 3), to a complex hidden laboratory stocked with the finest equipment (add +2 to all Alchemy rolls while working within), or even a cache of enchanted equipment (Weapons taken receive +1 Accuracy and +1 damage. Armor taken receives +1 lethal and bashing soak). You also may know about a gallery, a safehouse stocked with costumes and alchemical dyes for your hair and make-up for your skin (+2 to Performance or Larceny while wearing. Alchemical make-ups last approximately 2 hours).
5 - Two important safehouses, four specialty safehouses, and five general safehouses have been reviled to you. Nearly every safehouse in an area has been shown to you. Only a small, secret handful known only to the logistics and spy masters remain outside of your knowledge. In addition to all other varieties of safehouses, you may also know the position of secret clinic, staffed by low-ranking Amiliki and slave physicians who can aid greatly in recovering from wounds (no chance of infection and +1L recovery per day of rest while within).
Though the Gold Faction cannot afford to and is indeed unwilling to fully equip the Amiliki with powerful artifacts, the need yet remains to supply their agents with mystical equipment if they are to carry out their tasks. A policy of quantity over quality has come into play on those instances an operative has displayed the need or the prowess which the Gold Faction deems worth the cost of granting them artifacts. Objects of minor to middling power are often set aside and readied to be passed down to Amiliki in need of them. Yet the Gold Faction need only occasionally dip into their own coffers and stockpiles to equip their mortal agents. The Amiliki are trained to be highly skilled enchanters and alchemists. They are among the best in the world at weaving mortal Essence into mundane objects and often know alchemical formulas lost to other thaumaturges. Though the works of thaumaturgy cannot match the might of more powerful artifacts, the Amiliki are able to supply their agents with Essence laced objects in such numbers as to nearly compensate for this entirely.
Equipment gained through the Talismans background is not loaned out, but effectively given to the character. In some cases, they are objects the Amiliki may have crafted himself during training or gifts granted by an instructor for some notable act. In most cases however, it is their base equipment, supplied upon graduation from their College, and they are expected to keep it in good condition.
Dots provided by Talismans may be used in three ways. They may be used first of all to purchase items that have been enchanted by mortal magic or pre-prepared alchemical formulas. A single artifact point purchases an enchanted object of any strength and quality or any alchemical potion. Secondly, they may be used to purchase actual artifacts. Dots of Talismans may be spent on artifacts on a one-dot-per-level basis. An Amiliki may begin play with a single level 3 artifact purchased with points of Talismans, while any others are restricted to a maximum level of 2. Finally, they may be used to purchase dots of Manse (including it's hearthstone). These too are purchased at a one-dot-per-level basis. The Amiliki may begin play with a single level 3 hearthstone purchased with points of Talismans, while any others are restricted to a maximum level of 2.
X – Two point worth of Talismans.
1 – Four points worth of Talismans.
2 – Six points worth of Talismans.
3 – Eight points worth of Talismans.
4 – Ten points worth of Talismans.
5 – Twelve points worth of Talismans.
Few, even among the organization itself, realize that the Amiliki represents the single greatest and most skilled gathering of thaumaturges on the face of Creation. Tutored by the keepers of Fate in methods and practices long forgotten by the rest of Creation, the Amiliki have absorbed a life-time of mystical knowledge within the first few months of their training alone. Even the least Amiliki is often a match for most thaumaturges who can be found elsewhere and the greatest among them are outshined only by the Sorcery and Charms of the Chosen. The Thaumaturgy background represents the extent of the Amiliki's training with mortal magic. Not every Amiliki is a master thaumaturge and some excel far beyond others, but all are required to hold a certain level of competence in the Arts of Alchemy and Enchantment.
The Thaumaturgy background takes advantage of 2nd Edition rules for thaumaturgy.
X – You received only the most basic thaumaturgy training, granting you Initiate degree training in both Alchemy and Enchantment. Clearly, your talents lay strongly elsewhere if you are still breathing.
1 - The usual level of thaumaturgy possessed by graduates of the College of Endings. You have received Initiate degree training in two additional fields of thaumaturgy and Adept degree training in one.
2 - A promising miracle worker to the rest of Creation, you are an unexceptional one by program standards. You gain Initiate degree training in two more fields of thaumaturgy and Adept training in one additional field.
3 - This is the level of thaumaturgy possessed by the majority of graduates from every College save the College of Endings, making you an equal to any master thaumaturge you may encounter. You gain Initiate degree training in all fields of thaumaturgy and Adept training in two additional fields, and Master degree training in one.
4 - Your skill and capabilities with thaumaturgy exceed even the exceptionally high standards of the Amiliki. You may have been tutored in smaller, private classes by one of the lesser Sidereal assistants or a spirit of thaumaturgy itself. You gain Adept training in two additional fields of thaumaturgy and Master degree training in one additional field.
5 - A veritable god of mortal magic in your own right, you have mastered in your brief life-time more skill than any mortal practitioner, living or dead, has ever dreamed of. Spirits of thaumaturgy tutored you directly, alone, and came to welcome you as a peer and even your Sidereal masters took a keen interest in your progress. You gain Adept training in three additional fields of thaumaturgy and Master degree training in two additional fields.
By default, these merits may be purchased by any Amiliki, using bonus points or experience. Amiliki may also purchase standard Thaumaturgy merits at a reduced cost (one point less than the listed, to a minimum of 1). These changes in their flow of Essence are permanent and cannot by retracted later. Only the effects of Exaltation can nullify these abilities, as the power of the divine supersedes these crude mortal emulations. Should an Amiliki Exalt, the bonus points spent on these abilities are returned. Ox-Body Technique is the exception to this and the character may choose to carry over however many levels of mortal Ox-body they already possess, but adjust them to match the power level of their Exalted type.
Note: Credit goes to DariusSolluman for the mortal-level Ox-Body and the Body of Iron merit.
Ox-Body Technique (7-point Physical Merit)
Perquisites: Flow of Essence
Through physical training and making minor alterations in the flow of Essence within their bodies, some Amiliki are able to make themselves far more durable than their mortal peers. Each time this merit is taken, it provides 1 additional -4 Health Level. A player may purchase this merit once per dot of Endurance their character possesses.
Body of Iron (4-point Physical Merit)
Perquisites: Flow of Essence
The Amiliki has learned how to alter the flow of Essence, allowing them a level of resilience far greater than other mortals. The the character may soak lethal damage with half their Stamina.
Longevity (3-to-6 point Physical Merit)
Perquisites: Body of Iron and Steel
By radically altering the flow of Essence within their body, an Amiliki with this merit has slowed the effects of aging at the cost of greatly retarding their Essence flow. This merit may be purchased twice. With the first purchase, the Amiliki’s mortal life-span is increased by half-again at the cost of -2 motes from their total Essence pool. At the second purchase, their life-span is effectively doubled at the cost of -4 motes from their total Essence pool.
Star Sign (3-point Supernatural Merit or Flaw)
While the Amiliki themselves provide the bulk of their own mundane support, their Sidereal patrons have more subtle ways to aid their agents. Typically either a sign of favor from a particular Gold Faction acquaintance or a sign that the characters presence has been uncovered by the Bronze, the Amiliki with Star Sign has had an Astrological blessing or curse placed on him by a Sidereal. Standard Astrological blessings or curses as described in Exalted: The Sidereals (pg 209-210), their effects cannot be broken by anything short of removing the Amiliki from Fate itself. A single blessing or curse is assumed to last for a single story. Few, if any, Amiliki ever know they have received such attention, though a successfully cast horoscope can at least determine if the stars have particularly good or ill fate written for the character.
Blurred Fate (1-point Supernatural Merit)
As mortals, the Amiliki exists within Fate, their lives bound to the Loom and the stars above. Against the skilled the astrologers of the All-Seeing Eye, this can be a deadly disadvantage. An Amiliki with this merit however has had his destiny distorted by the unseen hands of the Sidereal. Add 2 to the Difficulty of any attempt to read the future of characters with this Merit.
Sleeper (1- to 5- point Mental Merit)
Perquisites: Willpower of 5 or lower
There are whispers among the Amiliki of agents within their organization placed so deeply undercover that not even the agents themselves realize their status. These deep-cover agents are known as Sleepers and are among the most dangerous of Amiliki. Sleepers have undergone intense hypnosis, their memories altered by powerful yet subtle manipulations of Essence. Ingrained within each are skills and abilities which can exceed even the upper limits of mortal capability, gained through forbidden training practices. These abilities are sealed away from the agent by layer upon layer of protective warding and deep suggestion, all keyed to a single phrase or image. When subjected to this key, the Amiliki awakens as near automaton who will relentlessly seek to accomplish whatever order is given to him by his superior.
Each point placed into the Sleeper Merit grants the character two dots which may be placed into any of the following abilities: Archery, Athletics, Brawl, Dodge, Martial Arts, Melee, Stealth, and Thrown. Abilities may be raised in this fashion on a one-per-one basis, up to 5. Abilities may be raised above the normal mortal limit of 5 for 2 dots, up to a number equal to 5 + the character's Permanent Essence.
The character does not employ these extra ability dots under normal circumstances. Only when 'awakened' does he gain access to them. While in an awakened state, the character is in all ways driven with a single-minded determination to carry out a given command. He cannot engage in any activity that does not directly further accomplishing this command. He will unhesitatingly attempt to overcome or destroy any obstacle that bars his path, including his allies if need be, but will use stealth in preference to brute force when applicable. Once he has fulfilled his command, the character returns to his right mind with no memory of what occurred during his awakened period.
Characters of a particularly strong will cannot become Sleepers, as their inherent mental and emotional fortitude or drive rejects the hypnosis. Characters who begin with a Willpower score of 5 or less but later raise it suppress their reflexive reaction to their key. The skills they gained are still locked away inside them, but cannot be accessed under most circumstances.
Awakened Sleeper (10- point Mental Merit)
It is highly rare, yet not entirely unknown for the hypnosis involved in creating a Sleeper to fail. The Sidereal are careful in choosing their candidates for this dangerous program, yet even they cannot account for every possibility. Rarely, a Sleeper will be given an order which so greatly conflicts with their nature that it shatters the layers of unconsciousness that lay between the Amiliki and his augmented capabilities. An Amiliki with this merit is able to employ any extra ability dots gained from the Sleeper merit at any point, including those which exceed the mortal limit of 5. Additionally, he is no longer subject to the effects of his key and will not be helplessly compelled to carry out the orders of whoever presents it to him.
Permanently awakened Sleepers are often seen as highly dangerous by the Sidereal, as many may have seen things during their training or missions which could potentially compromise Amiliki or even Gold Faction operations. Some are kept on hand and simply placed under close observation, but many are forced to go rogue and find themselves pursued by their former comrades, possibly even other Sleepers.
A character cannot possess this merit and the Deep Sleeper flaw.
Deep Sleeper (5- point Mental Flaw)
While rumor among the organization would assume that all Sleepers are unaware of their status as an agent of the organization, most still function as normal operatives. There are however a handful who have had all such memory oppressed. They remember none of their training nor even their status as an Amiliki. Most do not even remember a life prior to being placed undercover, assuming their role with guileless certainty.
A character with this Flaw is made as a standard Heroic Mortal. He gains a number of additional ability dots equal to the difference between an Amiliki and a normal Heroic Mortal ability allocations, but these abilities function the same as those gained from the Sleeper merit and cannot be accessed unless the character has been awakened. He cannot purchase Amiliki specific background nor does he receive the standard Backing from the organization. He may purchase Amiliki merits normally, though is never aware he possesses them.
For such a character, being suddenly thrown into the shadow world of the Amiliki can be a harrowing and terrifying experience. Most are placed in deliberately unexceptional lives or other minor positions that will allow them to get close to a specific target. When brought back suddenly to serve in a Cadre, they are often confused, disoriented, and frightened. Many are obstinate about returning to their old lives and try to flee. In nearly every case, their fellow agents will not be aware of the deep sleepers condition and may simply be told that their mission is to protect this seemingly helpless outsider for enigmatic reasons.
A character cannot possess both this flaw and the Awakened Sleeper merit. At a Story-Tellers discretion however, a character may buy off this flaw with experience, symbolizing an unlocking of previous memory of his training and service to the Amiliki. He may then gain the Awakened Sleeper merit as well.
Compromised (1- to 5-point Social Flaw)
Careful as she may have been, the characters allegiance to the Amiliki has been discovered none the less. Troubled as they are by the internal struggles of the Realm, the All-Seeing Eye is never blind to threats from without. The Amiliki have been declared enemies of the Realm and having a known association to them is paramount to a death sentence or, worse, a lengthy session of ‘interrogation’ at the hands of agents of the Eye.
The value of this Flaw depends on where in the world the game takes place, as this determines the strength of Eye presence and the forces they can bring to bare in hunting the character down. Games set largely in the East render the Flaw worth only one point. The Convent of Wood is the home territory of the Amiliki and hostile ground towards agents of the Realm on it's own, making pursuit by the Eye difficult at best. In the West, it is worth two. While Amiliki and Eye operatives have a certain understanding of one another in the West, there are fewer places of safety to hide in should the Amiliki suddenly become a target. For games set in the North, it is worth three points. The shadow war there has begun to blossom slowly and the Amiliki there still suffer from hushed organization in the wake of the Bull’s victory over the Tepet Legions. Games in the South make this flaw worth four points. The shadow war in the south is more war than shadow and agents of both factions in the area hunt each other down with a vengeance once their presence has been uncovered. Finally in the Realm itself, it is worth five points. Stronghold of the enemy, agents of the Eye can be anywhere and the Amiliki have no friends to speak of within the Realm. Compromised characters within the Realm can be expected to be hounded constantly or left to stew in their own paranoia with ever glance they get.
Note that the value of this flaw is determined by where the game primarily takes place. Journeys into other parts of the world do no render the flaw void. There character is known to the Eye no matter where she travels. Traveling from the safety of the East and into the heart of the Realm still places grave danger on the head of the character and those around her.
Rogue or Traitor (2-, 3-, or 5-point Social Flaw)
Clandestine organizations such as the Amiliki do not look kindly upon those who betray them, nor do they easily let go of those who serve them. Characters with this Flaw are those who have either attempted to cut ties to the Amiliki or those who have been uncovered in an act of treachery against them.
Going rogue is a dangerous business, though not necessarily a lethal one. Rogue agents can carry with them many secrets the Amiliki are willing to kill to keep, but such methods are considered drastic at best. Instead rogue agents are often let free and monitored. In times of need, the Amiliki rarely have any qualms of pressing these former operatives back into the game and will use any means necessary to ensure their cooperation.
Traitors are not treated so leniently. The worst of sins, by betraying the Amiliki (and getting caught), the character has made of herself an enemy which does not forgive. She will be hunted almost constantly by her former comrades and will find no peace in her life no matter where she hides. The Amiliki are willing to pierce into the heart of the Realm itself to bring an end to a traitors life, the better so that her actions do not cost them more than they might have already.
Characters with this Flaw loose access to most backgrounds normally linked to being an Amiliki. Backing, Cadre, and Requisition are all denied to them and they treat the Artifacts background as standard rather than adjusted. Similarly, Merits such as Celestial Travel Permit, are revoked. They may still posses the Safehouse background, though this only implies knowledge of the locations of such places. They are no long welcome there and visiting them is a gamble at best. Being a rogue agent is worth two bonus points, while being a traitor is worth five. For three points, the character may be considered a traitor yet in actually be innocent of her crime. Unlike the five point version, there remains the chance of clearing her name and achieving redemption in the eyes of her superiors.
A little known product of certain northern tribes, the ghillie suit (also known as a yowie suit in some areas) is an elaborate camouflaged poncho used most often by hunters. Like much of their equipment, ghillie suits were stolen and 'improved' upon by the Amiliki. They have become a common piece of equipment among College of Battles commandos. Ghillie suits are made from flaps of rough, heavy canvas (often sail or sack cloth) with a layer of thin netting attached to the outside. Long fibers stripped from certain plants are then tied to the netting in specific patterns of color. The finished product is vigorously beaten, dragged on ropes behind horses, and rolled into mud and left to "ferment" for a time. It becomes almost like compost, vanishing easily into the ancient layers of leaf mold that often covers forest floors.
A ghillie suit takes upwards to a week to properly prepare, nearly twice that for more elaborate and through copies. Each suit has to be specifically prepared for a certain environment. A ghillie suit designed to blend into the jungle floors of the south east will only stick out like a sore thumb in the alpine forests of the north. As such, while ghillie suits provide a +3 bonus to all Stealth rolls in the environments they were created for, they offer no aid in hiding in other environments and may even be detrimental.
The heavy cloth and thick layers of the suit provide some protection for the wearer, particularly against blunt impacts, granting a +3B/+1L bonus to the wearer's soak in addition to any other armor he might wear underneath. But the tight weave and blanketing nature of the same cloth makes the suits frighteningly hot in even moderately warm environments, enforcing a Fatigue value of 2 or increasing the fatigue value or any armor by 2 so long as the suit is worn.
Fine, exceptional and even perfect examples of ghillie suits exist. These employ the same number of bonus points as armor of similar quality. In addition to raising the soak bonus or lowering the fatigue levels, points may be assigned to increase the ghillie suit's Stealth bonus, thus improving effectiveness as camouflage.
Frozen wind is a substance that has long been familiar to the Ice Walkers and other northern dwelling tribes. It is literally wind that has become congealed into an icy sap by the unearthly cold of the north. Scrapped from the face of rocks and glaciers deep into the icy wastes, it is cold enough to freeze flesh on the bone if not handled properly. The shamans and mystics of northern tribes have made use of it for generations in various ways, from employing it to speed sail-fitted icy-skiffs across the land to mixing it in as a prime ingredient into potions that let one take to the sky for a time.
The Amiliki have found other uses for it, however. The Northern cousin to a firewand, a wind cannon is a one-shot weapon which propels an iron spike at great velocity, using frozen wind as the propellant. Their design tends to greatly resemble firewands, though they favor pale woods for the stocks and steel or platinum for the barrels, and have small vent holes either along the length of the barrel or clustered around the breach to bleed off the excess wind less it cause the whole weapon to burst. The effect of a wind cannon being fired can be striking as the barrel roars with a blast of blue ice-laced air and cold white steam bursts from the vents.
Most wind cannons are breach loaded; the bottom of a spike is wrapped in a wad of frozen wind stuffed into the breach. It takes an intense heat to cause frozen wind to "melt" back into it's natural state and blast the shot from the barrel, but the slow burning rope used in firewands goes out once touched to frozen wind, so instead the wind cannons typically used pieces of red jade alloyed to iron and enchanted to remain nearly white-hot at all times. Barrels always become encrusted with shards of ice after firing and a tool called a shiver rod is slung under the barrel of most wind cannons to scrap the frost away before reloading, requiring a character to spend a miscellaneous action to reload the weapon after each shot.
Speed 5, Accuracy +1, Damage 9L/3L, Rate 1/2, Range 80, Cost ***, Piercing
Targets who stand within ten yards of a wind cannon being fired count all damage double when calculating the effects of knockback.
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Expanded College descriptions, which I've been meaning to for a while. Might end up going back and changing things around on a few of them, just to clear up points, though ultimately strangely happy with how they came out. Intend to rework some backgrounds soon, as well as add a new one (a Martial Arts related background that would encompass supernatural martial arts training and grant TMA Charms) and possibly eliminate an old one (Safehouses). Sooner or later, I'll actually get around to writing down more of the 'mundane' equipment I picture them using too. After that's all cleared up, might actually finally think about play-testing these suckers. - Greymane